Starting the Adoption Process? 8 Reasons for an Adoption Coach
There are approximately 3000 adoption agencies in the U.S., according to NOLO (http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/agency-adoptions-29896.html). This does not even count the individual lawyers and adoption facilitators that account for roughly 55% of all private adoptions these days. While there is some regulation, there continues to be wide differences in costs, waiting times, ethics, and values amongst these institutions. For this and many other reasons, the adoption process can be overwhelming. BUT…an adoption coach can help. Read on to find out how.
Let’s face it. The adoption process is brutal and full of hoop after hoop after hoop to jump through before you even get started waiting for a match. Most people take months—sometimes even years—to complete the paperwork and requirements needed to begin the adoption process. This, after many have experienced months—years—maybe even decades of trying naturally and/or infertility treatments and miscarriages. The average age for someone adopting is 45. Adoption coaching helps keep you on track so that you can have a shot at your child completing high school before you go on Medicare—a goal most of us can relate to, right?
Avoid time-consuming and costly mistakes
Adoptions are expensive, and the options are endless in how you can spend your time and money towards the goal of adding to your family. If you are not careful, you could end up investing in services that you do not need or that do not really fit into your comfort zone. Often, couples will enter into obligations in reaction to their fears and distress with the wait. Adoption coaching helps you gain self-awareness that makes decision-making intentional and purposeful rather than reactionary.
The wait is brutal
Once you are cleared to adopt, the wait can be brutal. People who adopt have to learn how to live their lives fully even in the midst of the adoption process. This can be harder than you might imagine and having a coach to help you develop strategies can be a lifesaver.
The most common complaints from adoptive parents about the process involve expectations that were not met. Some think the wait will be fast and easy. Others think that the match will be magical for everyone. Others think that they are supposed to instantly fall in love with their babies. An adoption coach understands these expectations and how they can create anger, resentment, and jealousy. Your coach can help be a sounding board when you are demonstrating unrealistic expectations.
Help with hard decisions
The adoption process is full of hard decisions like comforts with races other than yourself, expectant mother drug and/or alcohol use, as well as the potential for mental and physical disabilities. After all the years of infertility treatments, it can be easy to simply say you just want a child—any child. But if you do not really look at yourself honestly, you could make impulsive decisions that could impact your relationship with your child and his or her birth family for the rest of your lives.
Avoid collateral damage
The adoption process can be all-encompassing and this can be tough on marriage, friendships, careers, and even your health. A coach can help you to work on a life-adoption balance that is actually great practice for how to balance your life once you have kiddos.
Never give up
When we were waiting to adopt, I remember finding comfort in the thought that with adoption, as long as I did not give up, we would have a child one day. This was highly comforting after the uncertainty of infertility treatments. Of course, some people do decide to end their adoptive journey for many reasons, and this may very well be a healthy decision for them. The benefits of having an adoption coach is that if you approach this decision, you can be assured that you are making the decision to continue or to stop for the right reasons.
Short-term results, long-term benefits.
The road towards adoption can be long and winding. Failed matches, reclaims, and long periods of no contacts do happen. And even once you have successfully adopted, there are tons of sticky relationship and parenting issues that arise when you are trying to navigate an open adoption. Having someone who you already know and trust to turn to during these moments is crucial.
The adoption process is a wonderful adventure, but it is not for the faint of heart. Having an adoption coach can help you smooth out wrinkles even before you are aware of them. After the long road you have taken to get to this place in your lives, isn’t it nice to know you now have a partner for the journey?